Origin has released a beautiful disc featuring a guitar-led rhythm section, featuring John Stowell. He's accompanied by John Bishop and Jeff Johnson. This disc features 10 new originals by John Stowell and Jeff Johnson. They're explorative originals, which expand a players harmonic and rhythmic sensibilities. The group plays them passionately and creatively.
Scenes was a group that originally started as a quartet. Tenor saxophonist Rick Mandyck fronted the group, and was the lead voice. He later developed a health situation that has forced him to discontinue playing saxophone. (We wish him the best here at JR247) Stowell then introduced the trio to some of his originals, and the group began to develop a sound of it's own, also featuring originals written by Johnson.
What makes this disc work is the musical flexibility and the listening that happens between these 3 musicians. The feels are constantly varied, and Stowell introduces wonderful harmonic compliments throughout. What impresses me most about Stowell is his phrasing on each and every tune. He captures the original harmony within the framework of these modern melodies. You can hear in his playing one who has developed are large repertoire of musical canon over the years. It's a real pleasure to listen to this accomplished artist.
Bishop too is impressive. John isn't your typical Jazz head. He's a musician who has allowed himself to play and learn in a variety of musical environments. What he brings to this session is a large set of ears that allows his playing to acclimate into this creative session. He plays with warmth and sensitivity. He also allows himself to match and create the emotions of the compositions in this session. What I really like is not only his improvisational ability, but his sensitivity to ensemble playing.
Jeff Johnson is one of the most on-call working musicians in the competitive Seattle musical arena, and his contribution to jazz is substantial and continuing. Jeff leads various small ensembles, composes and goes on the road frequently. He is involved in numerous projects and recording dates around the world. He's also a veteran of the Jessica Williams and Hal Galper trios. It really shows in this session. He's marvelous in a trio setting and is a perfect compliment for Stowell and Bishop.
Scenes is currently shooting a video podcast and performing in various spots throughout the great NorthWest. If you get a chance to get out and support this group, you will not be disappointed. They're a very creative, responsive, and talented group. Scenes is a recording that will not disappoint the serious of Jazz listeners!!